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Private Pilot Licence Program

What you will Achieve from this Program


When you complete this program, you will obtain a Private Pilot Licence issued by Transport Canada, as well as the issuance of a Certificate of Qualification—Private Pilot by Coastal Pacific Aviation

Private Pilots are licensed to fly any single-engine, non-high performance aeroplane requiring a single pilot for operation; they may also fly any additional aeroplane endorsed on their licence—including multi-engine, seaplanes and high performance aircraft—in any condition of flight—including day, night or in cloud conditions—provided they obtain the necessary training and certifications on their Private Pilot Licence.

Important for those seeking to become professional pilots, the Private Pilot Licence is the required qualification established by Transport Canada for those seeking entrance into Commercial Pilot Licence Training.  This program is the starting point for all those seeking a pilot licence in Canada.

Overview of Pilot Training


Private Pilot students must undergo two examinations—one is a flight test conducted in an aircraft with a Pilot Examiner, and the other is a written examination conducted by Transport Canada.  There are time limits on when these examinations must occur—the flight test must be completed no later than two years after successfully completing the written examination, and by comparison, the written examination must be completed no later than one year after successfully completing the flight test.  Private Pilot training is therefore oriented towards preparing students for these two examinations—that is, the flight training provides preparation for the flight test, while the ground school portion provides preparation for the written examination.  While flight training is conducted for the most part one-on-one with a Flight Instructor, ground school is normally conducted in a conventional classroom setting.  All training must conform with standards established by Transport Canada, and the aircraft used for training must meet the maintenance standards established by Transport Canada for certified commercial aircraft.

Requirements for Entrance (Prerequisites) and Completion


Prior to flying an aircraft solo, under the supervision of a Flight Instructor, students must be issued Student Pilot Permit, which essentially serves as your first pilot licence.  To obtain a Student Pilot Permit, you must hold a valid Category 1 or Category 3 Medical Certificate—Category 1 Medical Certificates are required for Commercial Pilots, while Category 3 Medical Certificates are required for Private Pilots.  Students seeking careers as Commercial Pilots should obtain a Category 1 Medical Certificate. 

The minimum age requirement for the Student Pilot Permit is 14-years of age, while the minimum age for the Private Pilot Licence is 17-years of age.  Incidentally, the minimum age requirement to qualify for a Commercial Pilot Licence is 18-years of age. 

In accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), all international students must demonstrate the ALPT (English Language proficiency).

Transport Canada's Minimum Requirements for Completion


Knowledge Requirements—Ground School Instruction

An applicant shall have completed a minimum of 40 hours private pilot aeroplane ground school instruction including at least one of the following subjects:

  • Canadian Aviation Regulations,

  • Aerodynamics and Theory of Flight,

  • Meteorology,

  • Airframes, Engines and Systems,

  • Flight Instruments,

  • Radio and Electronic Theory,

  • Navigation,

  • Flight Operations,

  • Licensing Requirements, and

  • Human Factors, including pilot decision-making.

Knowledge Requirements—Written Examination

All applicants shall have obtained a minimum of 70% on the Ground School Final Exam to obtain a recommendation from their flight instructor and 60% in each of the following four mandatory subjects areas as well as in the overall written examination Private Pilot Licence—Aeroplane (PPAER):

  1. Air Law—regulations, rules and orders, air traffic services, practices and procedures, and licensing requirements relevant to the licence,

  2. Navigation—navigation, radio aids and electronic theory,

  3. Meteorology, and

  4. Aeronautics—General Knowledge—airframes, engines and systems, theory of flight, flight instruments and flight operations.


Experience Requirements

  1. An applicant for a Private Pilot Licence—Aeroplane shall have complete a minimum of 45 hours flight time private pilot training in aeroplanes under the direction and supervision of the holder of a Flight Instructor Rating—Aeroplane.  A Maximum 5 of the 45 hours may be conducted on an approved aeroplane simulator or Flight Training Device (FTD).

  2. The flight training shall include a minimum of 

    1. 17 hours dual instruction flight time, including a minimum of 3 hours cross-country flight time and 5 hours of instrument time of which a maximum of 3 hours may be in the FTD; and

    2. 12 hours solo flight time, including 5 hours cross-country flight time with a flight of a minimum of 150 nautical miles which shall include 2 full stop landings at points other than the point of departure.


Skill Requirements

Within the 12 months preceding the date of application for the licence, an applicant for a Private Pilot Licence—Aeroplane shall successfully complete a flight test as pilot-in-command of an aeroplane, in accordance with the Private Pilot Flight Test Guide.

 Estimated Training Costs 

The following are the minimum estimated cost for students based on Transport Canada's minimum requirements.  Please keep in mind that the below pricing can change from student to student based on different factors. The prices are subject to change without notice—this permits the school to respond timely to significant fluctuations in aviation fuel costs.  


Aircraft Type: Cessna-172 M Model


Aircraft Hourly Rate...$179/hr

Flight Instructor Hourly Rate...$70/hr

17 Hours Dual Instruction...$4,233

25 Hours Solo Flight Time...$4,475

Sub-Total                              $8,708


Simulator Type: PFC-FTD

Optional Simulator Rentals:



Simulator Hourly Rate...$95/hr

Flight Instructor Hourly Rate...$70/hr 

10 Hours Ground Briefing...$700

PPL Ground School Course...$500                                                                                                                           

Books and Supplies (Approximate)...$350

Flight Tests & Transport Canada Fees...$530

(Flight Test & TC Fees are NOT paid directly to CPA) 

Medical Exam Fees (Approximate)...$150

(Medical Exam Fees are NOT paid directly to CPA)

Sub-Total                                                $2,725



Air Instruction and Student Practice...$8,708

Ground School and Administration......$2,725



With respect to the costs described above, and for the benefit of those just getting started in their pilot training, here is a guide to some of the concepts included in the above costs:  “Dual Air Instruction” denotes instruction during a training flight that is conducted under the direction and control of a Flight Instructor.  “Dual Simulator Instruction” denotes instruction received from a Flight Instructor in Coastal Pacific Aviation's Flight Simulators.  “Solo Practice” denotes a training flight conducted under the supervision of a Flight Instructor in which the student is the sole occupant of the aircraft.  “Preparatory Ground Instruction” refers to classroom instruction, normally conducted one-on-one, that prepares a student for a newly introduced air exercise.   “Pre-flight Briefings” refers to the pre-flight ground instruction and review conducted by a Flight Instructor with the student prior to each flight lesson or solo practice flight.   “Post-flight De-briefing” refers to ground instruction and review which occurs between the student and the Flight Instructor after the flight has returned.  “Ground school Instruction” denotes collective instruction—normally provided in a classroom setting by a Ground school Instructor—that prepares students for the written examination requirements of the licence.  “Tutorial Instruction” refers to informal meetings of Ground school students under the supervision of Teaching Assistants—Teaching Assistants are normally senior students who have been appointed to lead classroom tutorials.

Important Considerations for the estimated costs of Pilot Training


It is important to note that the training costs for pilot training is difficult to predict owing to the fact that the training frequency among students vary, as does the skill level of students with regard to both flight training and written examination preparation. 

If a student has difficulty in preparing for written examination, the effect of this is likely to be simply delayed completion—delayed completion does add to expenses—food and housing while being a student, for example—but this is much less than the costs of having to add more practice flights to the air training. 

In all cases, completion times are based on the flight time required for the pilot skills of students to meet Canadian flight test standards established in the Private Pilot Licence Flight Test Guide.  Generally speaking, apply to advanced pilot training—that is, the Commercial Pilot Licence, the Multi-engine Class Rating, the Group 1 (Multi-engine) Instrument Rating, and the Flight Instructor Rating.  With advanced pilot training, costs become more stabilized and predictable.


What is the best way of dealing with the varied cost of Private Pilot Licence training?  We encourage all Private Pilot Students to retain an additional $8,000 in reserve for financial planning purposes so as to provide for varied rates of learning and varied levels of skill.  In all cases training costs can be substantially reduced in conjunction with regular flying and effective student self-study and preparation for flights.

Important Considerations for International Students


For International Students, our admissions process requires that you send a non-refundable $350 administrative fee, payable to Coastal Pacific Aviation, which will be used to fund administrative and courier costs, including the preparation and issue of the Letter of Acceptance.  You will use Letter of Acceptance when you begin your application for a Study Permit and Visa. For all sorts of additional information important to International Students, please see the International Students’ Page of this website.

***The Private Pilot License program does not require approval by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training. As such, PTIB did not review this program.***

Overview of Pilot Training
Requirements for Entrance (Prerequisites) and Completion
Transport Canada's Minimum Requirements for Completion
Estimated Training Costs
Important Considerations for the estimated costs of Pilot Training
What you will Achieve from this Program
Important Considerations for International Students
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